John Lennons “Help!” guitar sells for a record $2.9 million at auction

Looks like someone didn’t need any “Help!” spending their money on a unique collectible from The Beatles

On the first day of its Music Icons sale at the Hard Rock Cafe New York, Julien’s Auctions sold a 12-string guitar used by John Lennon to record several Beatles classics for a whopping $2.9 million. That makes it the most expensive Beatles guitar ever to sell at auction. The person who bought it purchased it via a telephone bid, the auction house says.

As previously reported, the Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar was used by both John and George Harrison to record songs like “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “Girl,” “It’s Only Love,” “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” “Help!” and “Norwegian Wood.” It can also be seen in the movie Help!

Presumed lost for 50 years, the guitar was recently discovered in the attic of a 90-year-old man who once worked as the road manager for the ’60s duo Peter and Gordon. The duo’s Gordon Waller had gotten it from Lennon in 1965 and then passed it along to the road manager.

Other Beatles items sold during the auction’s first day include the band’s RIAA Gold single award for “Hey Jude,” previously owned by Julian Lennon, which went for nearly $32,000, and a copy of the band’s Please Please Me album signed by all four Beatles, which went for $39,000. A guitar played by early Beatles collaborator Tony Sheridan, who worked with them during the very early ’60s, sold for more than $76,200.

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